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and Laity, over whom they were placed, to acknowledge their attachment to the present government of the kingdom, as vested in the person of his Majesty King George the Third; and to direct that public prayers for the King by name should be authoritatively introduced, and afterwards continued in the religious assemblies of that Church. Their determination was, according to a letter from one of the Secretaries of State, approved by his Majesty, in the most gracious and condescending manner: and the Bishops received assurances from some of the great Officers of State, that the step they had lately taken was highly commended ; and that there was little doubt that the Clergy and people of that communion would now be relieved from the penal statutes, under which they had been so long labouring. Accordingly three of the Bishops, Skinner, Abernethy Drummond, and Strachan, set out for London, and arrived in April 1789, just at the time, when the whole British nation were overwhelmed with the deepest sense of gratitude to Almighty God for the recovery of our beloved Sovereign from the severe illness with which he had been afflicted. Upon such an occasion no doubt was entertained that relief would be readily granted and a Bill was accordingly brought in and passed the House of Commons unanimously, Mr. Secretary Dundas (afterwards Lord Viscount Melville), most generously declaring in his place, that though he was of an old Presbyterian family, yet his office, and frequent residence in Scotland, had given him an opportunity of knowing much of the Episcopalians: that he did not believe a more valuable body of men existed ; and that as they had lived in a state of poverty and distress for one hundred years, from a conscientious, though mistaken, adherence to what they conceived to be their duty, if they now felt themselves warranted in transferring their allegiance and duty to our present
King and his illustrious house, he would pledge himself that his Majesty would not have more loyal subjects in the kingdom. But though matters went on thus smoothly in the Commons' House of Parliament, yet the Bill met with a different fate in the House of Lords; for Lord Chancellor Thurlow, who was never supposed to be a very deep theologian, nor particularly well versed in ecclesiastical history, stated some objections to the Bill; and on the 26th of June moved that it should be read that day three months, which of course disposed of the Bill for that Session.
It was upon this occasion, that the three Scotch Bishops were introduced to the Rev. Dr. Gaskin *, Mr. Stevens, and James Allan Park, Esq. (now one of his Majesty's Counsel +) who from that time forth became a voluntary Committee for managing in England the Affairs of the Scotch Episcopal Church. Of the other two gentlemen it is not necessary that I should at present speak; but all who had an opportunity of knowing what Mr. Stevens did, as the writer of this Memoir had, know with what zeal, ability, and perseverance, he laboured in the cause: he believed, as all true Churchmen believe, the Scotch Episcopal Church to be a pure primitive part of the Church Christian, in doctriné, discipline, and worship, maintaining the tenets of the Establishment in England. It will hardly be believed, however, that notwithstanding all this, the zealous labours of Mr. Stevens and the rest of the Committee, the activity of the most excellent Bishop Skinner, who came a second time to London upon the occasion, the cordial co-operation of the Bishops in this country, and the able
wid, as the portunity at pre
* Now Prebendary of Ely.
+ Since the former editions of this work, become the Honourable Sir James Allan Park, one of the Judges of his Majesty's Court of Common Pleas.
speech of the then Bishop of St. David's (Horsley), combating all Lord Chancellor Thurlow's arguments upon the validity of the Scottish Orders, it was not till the 11th of June, 1792, that Mr. Stevens, and his brethren of the London Committee, had the satisfaction of hearing the Royal Assent given to the Bill, which enabled the Members of our Sister Church again to assemble for the purpose of public worship, without fear of molestation or imprisonment. Mr. Stevens's general opinion was that notions respecting the Church were very fallacious; and that people did not sufficiently distinguish between the Church connected with, and not connected with, the State. Thus in a letter of the 1st of May, 1797, to Bishop Skinner, he says:
gain to thout feagene
" I observe what you say of Mr. Jones's Sermons on the Church. Perhaps, from your situation, you are more upon your guard, and more correct in your language than you would otherwise possibly think necessary. Mr. Jones certainly thinks as you do on the subject, and when he speaks of Christians in the Church, and out of the Church, it is only in compliance with the customary way of speaking, calling all who profess to believe in Christ indiscriminately, Christians. Making establishment necessary to the existence of the Church, us many are apt to do, is a grievous mistake ; but to be sure it is a convenient appendage; and there is no harm in Kings being nursing fathers, if they will nurse it properly."
He seems in this letter to have accorded fully with the very learned Bishop Horsley, who in a more detailed manner in the House of Lords, in answer to the Lord Chancellor Thurlow, states the point thus :
« My Lords, « These Episcopalians take a distinction, and it is a just distinction, between a purely spiritual, and a political Episcopacy. A political Episcopacy belongs to an established Church, and has no existence out of an establishment. This sort of Episcopacy was necessarily unknown in the world, before the time of Constantine. But in all the preceding ages there was a pure spiritual Episcopacy, an order of men set apart to inspect and manage the spiritual affairs of the Church, as a society in itself totally unconnected with civil government. Now, my Lords, these Scotch Episcopalians think, that when their Church was cast off by the State at the Revolution, their Church in this discarded, divided state, reverted to that which had been the condition of every Church in Christendom, before the establishment of Christianity in the Roman Empire, by Constantine the Great:—that losing all their political capacity, they retained, however, the authority of the pure spiritual Episcopacy within the Church itself; and that is the sort of Episcopacy to which they now pretend: and I, as a Churchman, have respect for that pretension.” This opinion entertained by Bishop Horsley was exactly the same as that of Bishop Horne, mentioned by Mr. Jones in his Life of that venerable Prelate, 2d edit. p. 149, et subs. ". for he had considered that there is such a thing as a pure and primitive Constitution of the Church of Christ, when viewed apart from those appendages of worldly power and worldly protection, which are sometimes mistaken, as if they were as essential to the being of the Church, as they are useful to its sustentation *."
* That most excellent man, Bishop Horne, anxious as he was for the interests of the Scotch Episcopal Church, did not live to see the relief granted ; for, to the inex.
I was anxious to give the reader some account of the opinion entertained by two such eminent prelates, upon the subject of which I have been led to treat; because it accords so exactly with the sentiments of the extraordinary layman, whose life and opinions are now under consideration, as ap: pears from his Essay on the Church, mentioned above: because it is of importance that every man who regards the Church of which he is a member, should understand the foundations upon which it rests; and because it must be a matter of curiosity to men of education and reading to know something of a Church, of whose existence they may never have heard before; and to whose future wel. fare and happiness they may have an opportunity of contributing, as they will find by the subsequent part of this narrative.
Even Mr. Stevens, who, in his labours that I have just mentioned, and in what he afterwards contributed, was one of her best benefactors, did not know that there was an Episcopal Church remaining in Scotland, till the affair of the consecration of Bishop Seabury, of Connecticut, with whom he was well acquainted, and who was of unblemished reputation and eminent parts, led him to know that there was such a remnant of pure Episcopacy in the northern part of Britain *.
pressible loss of the Church, he departed this life on the 17th of January, 1792; but the Bill for the Relief of the Scottish Episcopalians did not pass into a law till the month of June following.
* If the reader would wish to know more of the His. tory of the Scotch Episcopal Church up to the time of the repeal of the Penal Statutes, let him consult the Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, in two volumes, by the Rev. John Skinner, father of the worthy Bishop of Aberdeen, the Primus Scotiæ Episcopus.—This worthy prelate, to whom the second edition of these Memoirs was dedicated, himself